Amid all the other sensible precautions Salopians are having to take to make sure they are not easy targets for thieves and tricksters, there is another now to add to the list which is of particular concern to women.
Beware of strangers offering jewellery.
How it works is this. The offenders accost their intended victim – one was a car driver flagged down in the Sundorne area of Shrewsbury, another was a woman walking her baby in a pushchair, also in Sundorne.
They then force jewellery on you that you do not want and have no intention of buying. When you make this clear, they take their jewellery back, but also in the process try to remove the victim’s own jewellery.
Those who resort to crimes like these are not top of the criminal pile, but their crude and invasive tactics leave a nasty taste in the mouth.
The thieves are getting either more and more desperate or more and more confident if they are resorting to a mode of operation which has them looking their targets in the eye. Most thieves are of the skulking, sneaking variety, who aim to get away with their loot unobserved.
So blatant were the offenders in Shrewsbury this week that they were totally ineffectual, raised immediate suspicions, and consequently made off empty-handed.
You get the feeling that this will not have deterred them and they will simply think: Better luck next time.
And so it is likely that they will keep trying it on until caught. As you get the impression that their best defence against apprehension is to move around, their next attempt may well be in another Shropshire town.
Once more, the public has to be warned to be vigilant.
And if and when these offenders are caught, it would do us all a favour if the courts put them somewhere where we could all enjoy a break from their activities.